Breast Cancer Expert Forum
Could this be Inflammatory Breast Cancer?
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Could this be Inflammatory Breast Cancer?

One month ago I noticed a lump in my right breast. I was sent for a mammagram and an ultra sound.  Findings indicated a "likely" inflammed epidermal inclusion cyst. Two weeks of antibiotces was recommended.  I've now been on antibiotics for 4 weeks.  The lump has disappeared, but I also had a red circle on the skin above the lump.  The lump was deep and the redness was smooth, about an inch in diameter.  The red circle got bigger as time went by, but eventually went away a few days ago.  A few days after the ultra sound I started with an unrelenting itchy rash on the same breast that now covers about half of the right breast. The rash has been there 3 weeks and seems to get worse instead of better.

My GP sent me to a surgeon to check the rash out and take a biopsy.  After telling him the story, he didn't take a biopsy, but said to wait another week and then come back.  He'll decide then what he'll do.  I ask about IBC but he said IBC is swollen and deep red breast.  But when I look on the MD Anderson website it list red or pink skin, rash and itching all as symptoms of IBC.

How long do I wait to get something done if this rash doesn't go away?  Do I insist that he take a biopsy next time, even if he recommends not to.  Can you insist that a doctor do something they don't want to?  I'm really scared this could be IBC and this surgeon is just blowing it off!

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Dear nayjay, Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is a rare type of breast cancer accounts for only 1 to 4 percent of all breast cancers.  It is called inflammatory because the symptoms are usually a redness and warmth in the skin of the breast, often without a distinct lump.   It can be mistaken for an infection and initially be treated with antibiotics.  IBC would not get better on the antibiotics, and symptoms would be unlikely to resolve on their  own within a day or two.   The skin on the breast like anywhere else on the body is susceptible to rashes/irritations etc.  It is not possible to say what this is without benefit of further questioning and physical examination.  You have an appointment scheduled in a week to be reevaluated by the surgeon, they may base the decision to biopsy on what it looks like then.  

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